The flawed findings of a terrorism report presented by senior US administration officials were exposed after academics disputed the reports accuracy. From Newsday;
The 2003 figure would have represented a 45 percent drop in terrorist acts since 2001 and brought attacks to their lowest level in 34 years.
But Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and leading academics challenged the findings almost immediately and wrote Powell to ask for an explanation.
Two professors from Stanford and Princeton universities said verifiable information in the annual report actually showed that major terrorist attacks had increased from 124 in 2001 to 169 in 2003, a jump of 36 percent, and that incidents actually had risen each year since 2001.
State Department officials acknowledged for the first time last week that the report underrepresented terrorists attacks in 2003.
"The data in our report is incorrect. If you read the narrative of the report, it makes it clear that the war on terror is a difficult one, and that we're pursuing it with all of the means at our disposal," Powell said.
Powell said the report's data were incomplete and that information had been cut off at certain dates in a manner inconsistent with earlier terrorism reports. "It was a data collection and reporting error".
"It was a data collection and reporting error", hmm, versatile phrase. Trend prediction; "No Comment" superseded.